Celebration of Volunteerism

Larry Starr welcomes alumni volunteers back to Athens for the Celebration of Volunteerism Awards Ceremony.

Photographer: Megan Johnson

Celebration of Volunteerism Awards 2017

Jennifer Neubauer ends the ceremony with a final thank you to the alumni volunteers.

Photographer: Megan Johnson

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Celebration of Volunteerism Awards Ceremony Honors OHIO alumni for volunteer efforts


“Do you know how gorgeous you all look this evening,” Jennifer Neubauer, assistant vice president of alumni relations, said to the dapper alumni volunteers who gathered for the Celebration of Volunteerism Awards Ceremony.

During the ceremony, Neubauer, also the executive director of the OHIO Alumni Association, Larry Starr, the chair of the Awards Committee of the Association’s Board of Directors, Ron Teplitzky, the podium chair of the Association’s Board of Directors, and David Descutner, interim president of Ohio University, recognized OHIO volunteers who have done exceptional work throughout the world.

The Association held the awards ceremony on May 20 during the fourth annual On The Green Weekend as part of the Alumni Leaders Conference (ALC).

“It’s wonderful to see so many OHIO alumni, friends and dedicated volunteers here tonight as we … thank a few of our remarkable alumni and friends who embody the Bobcat spirit of the volunteerism,” Starr said.

The Association teams with eager volunteers to connect more than 200,000 alumni worldwide. More than 300 volunteers lead 28 regional groups, eight academic-based groups and 12 special interest societies, totaling 48 groups of Bobcats who help support the University.

According to Neubauer, the Association hosted 294 events in 2016. Of those events, volunteer groups propelled 120.

The Association’s Awards Committee selected award recipients from these alumni chapters and societies. The seven awards presented at the ceremony were the Templeton Networking Award, the Lindley Student Networking Award, the Alden Community Service Award, the Glidden Innovation Award, the Baker Philanthropic Award, the Konneker Volunteer of the Year Award and the Cutler Outstanding Chapter Award.

Teplitzky presented the Konneker Volunteer of the Year Award to Barbara Gazella, AA ’60, for her diligent effort to promote OHIO and to connect alumni to their Alma Mater.

“Barbara has been a tireless volunteer on behalf of the Akron Association of Ohio University Women,” Ron Teplitzky said.

Gazella was almost speechless after receiving her award and said she was “humbled to have been recognized.”

The Cutler Outstanding Chapter Award, which is highly distinguished, acknowledges a chapter that encourages alumni to renew their affiliations with their alma Mater. The Greater Cleveland Chapter received this award for their successful efforts in planning alumni programming.

“2016 was a year of renewal for this chapter,” Descutner said. “…This group plays a critical role in the engagement of the more than 20,000 alumni living in the greater Cleveland area.”

The Houston Network won the Baker Philanthropic Award for its successful fundraising event, CasinOHIO Night.

Neubauer presented the Templeton Networking Award, which acknowledges a chapter that meaningfully connects OHIO alumni, to the Middle Tennessee Network for the development of the chapter’s website.

The Society of Alumni and Friends for Teacher Education won the Lindley Student Networking Award, which honors a chapter that connects students to alumni, for its Fall Networking Education Conference.

Neubauer presented the Glidden Innovation Award to the Greater Cincinnati Chapter for its well-received program, the Ohio University Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series.

The Alden Community Service Award went to the San Francisco Liaison for its Bobcats by the Bay 5K event.

Neubauer closed the ceremony by shouting an enthusiastic, “OU,” and the crowd of alumni heartily responded, “Oh, yeah!” A dinner full of mingling and laughter was held afterward.